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Thursday, June 17, 2010

More Author Insight: Novel Secrets

Tell us a secret about your most recent book.

"I never reveal secrets, because then they would be secrets anymore. :)" - Riley Carney, author of The Fire Stone.

"My newest book (as yet unpublished) was written in part because I'm a movie fanatic and was incredibly inspired by the atmosphere of Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins and The Dark Knight." - Michelle Zink, author of Prophecy of Sisters.

"Sorry, no secrets from me. I made a pact with my characters. What kind of a person blabs trusted details?" - Bonnie Doerr, author of Island Sting.

"I'm not sure how many people are familiar with Shakespearean theory, but some scholars think that Ophelia drowned herself because she was pregnant, which is one of the reasons I chose her for Bertie's mother." - Lisa Mantchev, author of the Theater Illuminata series.

"In Chasing Brooklyn, Brooklyn lives with her dad, as her mom moved away to Vegas with her two twin brothers. It's an interesting dynamic, I think, and one we don't see very often, where the mother in a divorce situation doesn't have custody of all the children. I got the idea when one of the contestants (Michelle) on The Biggest Loser was talking about how she and her mom had always had a difficult relationship because her mom had wanted her brothers to live with her, but not Michelle. It stuck with me, and when I was writing the book, I decided it worked well for the story." - Lisa Schroeder, author of Chasing Brooklyn.

"Hmmm… what to tell, what to tell… North, at one point in his life, had an intended—meaning that he was engaged to be married to someone when they were both young. She made an appearance in the first draft of the story, but was cut to reduce the number of characters in the final draft. There was also another family, North’s friends, that I’m still a little devastated I had to cut, only because they were so warm and lovely. Their role in the story was to clue Sydelle in that North wasn’t a bad guy after all, but they bogged down the pacing and my agent and I eventually decided that Syd’s revelation about North’s character should be saved for later. " - Alexandra Bracken, author of Brightly Woven.

"I wrote Faithful for my mother. She passed away suddenly, and she always wanted to be a writer. She would have loved the book and loved even more the fact that it is coming out in May, just after Mother's Day." - Janet Fox, author of Faithful.

"One of Nice and Mean’s protagonists, Sachi, was inspired by a high-school student I observed as part of an Education seminar in college. She read a memoir about moving to the United States from India, and her sweetness and honesty always stuck with me. One of these days, I’ll try to track her down and let her know." - Jessica Leader, author of Nice and Mean.

"I wrote BLOOD MAGIC on a dare!" - Tessa Gratton, author of Blood Magic.

"In my novel, there's a scene where a boy is arrested for stealing garden gnomes from a hardware store. It's my favorite scene in the book. Now, every time I go to a hardware store and see the landscaping aisle, I feel guilty! Because my character stole garden ornaments! Even though they aren't actually real." - Steph Bowe, author of Girl Saves Boy.

"There is a scene in Skin & Bones which I believe was the reason I got the offer. I'd only written 4 chapters and a handful of notes/scenes when I let the editor look at it, but that one stood out. It is intense, full of creepy trust issues and invasive discovery, and the feelings are so vivid, I've been surprised when I re-read it, like "I wrote that?!" Every time I read it now, I get a slithery feeling that I describe as "like walking through wet curtains." Ew and kinda cool." - Dawn Metcalf, author of Skin & Bones.

"Shortly after Julia’s death, Austin started dating again very quickly; we know that because it’s in The Secret Year. But what we don’t see is that on Austin’s first date, he ended up crying drunkenly on the girl’s shoulder. She felt bad for him and never told anyone." - Jennifer Hubbard, author of The Secret Year.

"Well, The Naughty List is available now, but I have another book that's coming out in Fall of 2011 called Delinquents. Fun fact: That was actually the book I was trying to sell when Razorbill ended up offering on TNL." - Suzanne Young, author of The Naughty List.

"I wrote Change of Heart and then later learned about a local teen soccer player who received a heart transplant. Her illness and surgery happened at least a year after I had finished Change of Heart, but I eventually spoke to her and was amazed by the parallels in her story and Emmi's story. I'm thrilled that she's doing great--and even playing soccer again." - Shari Maurer, author of Change of Heart.

"The Tension of Opposites, which centers around the return of my main character’s best friend after a two year abduction, was released on May 25 – which just happens to be National Missing Children’s Day. The crazy thing is that this was not planned in any way. I figured it out one day when I was doing a search, and when I told my editor, I was shocked to learn that she had no idea. The coincidence is creepy-cool if you ask me." - Kristina McBride, author of The Tension of Opposites.

"Hm. Well, they say to know your characters as well as you know yourself, and I will say that is true for all my characters except one. Grimalkin. I don’t know much about him at all. I don’t know his background, his inner thoughts, or why he does the things he does. He’s as much a mystery to me as to everyone else who comes across him, and I think he prefers it that way." - Julie Kagawa, author of The Iron King.

"Shadowed Summer is already on shelves- the whole book is about revealing secrets, so I can't honestly think of one that wouldn't spoil the story. But I can tell you that the first draft was 72,000 words long. The draft that was published came in at 46,000 words. Writing is rewriting (or in my case, cutting!)." - Saundra Mitchell, author of Shadowed Summer.

Make sure to stop by Tuesday and find out what our authors favorite literary devices are!


  1. all these Authors! Wow Great Question

  2. You really do have a lot of these questions set up with authors don't you? Well, I have been really enjoying them! I like Julie's answer, I don't know if anyone truly has Grimalkin figured out :)

  3. Just letting you know that you won an award over at my blog =)